How do psychologists identify disorders? The classification problem: disorders (problems not
1. DSM-IV of APA (uses a MULTIAXIAL system) *Axis = dimension
2. Axes I & II - used for diagnosis of disorders
Axis I - identification of major disorders
Axis II - identification of personality or developmental disorders (often
3. Remaining Axes are then used for supplemental information
Axis III - physical problems
Axis IV - severity of stress
Axis V - current level of adaptive functioning The multiaxial system is a good
thing - it attempts to show the BIG PICTURE of the person and not just focus on one
"abnormal" or "unusual" factor, symptom, behavior, etc.
A. Anxiety Disorders: All characterized by high (very high) apprehension and anxiety, tension,
1. Generalized anxiety disorder and panic consists of prolonged, vague, unexplained but intense
fears that do not seem to be attached to any particular object.
very much like regular fears, but no actual danger
objective anxiety vs. free-floating anxiety
tense, apprehensive (concerns about future), difficulty concentrating, irritable,
worried, can't concentrate
headaches, insomnia, upset stomach, aching muscles, need to much sleep,
sweating, dizziness, etc.
Hypervigilance - always scanning the area for danger although none usually
GAD - anxiety persists for at least 1 month (usually longer) and is not attributable
to recent life experiences (although they may play a role)
2. Panic disorder
severe anxiety moments
"nervous breakdown," a case of the nerves
3. Phobias: an intense, recurrent, unreasonable fear of a specific object or situation which leads
to avoidance of the object or situation
Simple Phobias (relatively rare) - an
fear of a single object or situation
that results in avoidance
miscellaneous category comprising irrational fears that don't fall under any
other category. For example - claustrophobia
Social Phobias - characterized by fear and embarrassment in dealings with others.
Often the fear is that their anxiety will be seen by others.